Rangeley Lake State Park, located snugly in the midst of the mountains of western Maine, has been a famed and favored spot for everything from camping and hiking to wildlife photography and water sports since its official opening in 1960. For well over a century before that, however, the beautiful 869-acre park and its many lakes have been attracting fishermen from far and wide.
Tentrr can help you set up camp on a picturesque and secluded plot of private land so that you can go fishing in peace. Before you pack up your gear and bring your boat to traverse the clear and calm waters, though, here are seven things that you should know about fishing in and around Rangeley Lake State Park.
1. Rangeley Lake Fish Species
Before you can truly prepare yourself to fish in any area, you should know what is available for you to catch. The first and most obvious question that many newly-arriving campers and fisherman have is, "What kinds of fish are located here?"
The three main fish species found at Rangeley Lake are landlocked Atlantic salmon, yellow perch and brook trout. Going at least as far back as the 1840s, the Rangeley area’s brook trout have been particularly well-known among fishermen for their unusually large size, often stretching to well over one foot.
Fly fishing is excellent at Rangeley Lake, as both the salmon and brown trout respond well to it. Nearby Kennebago Lake is an especially excellent spot for fly-fishing, but all lakes around Rangeley are great for it.
In the spring, focus on steamers and other active retrievals near the surface of the water. The fish can be aggressive and like the stimulation. Try out black ghost, gray ghost, and mickey finn streamers. If you’re fishing dry flies, try wooly buggers, klinkhamers, and hornbergs. Rangeley Fly Shop is a great resource for fishing reports, tips, and local services.
3. Bait Fishing
Of course, fishing without proper bait is just about impossible, so any fishing tips for Rangeley Lake should mention the best baits to use. You can catch brook trout in the area on worms and PowerBait (garlic scented options usually work great). If you’re using worms in the morning or evening, try fishing 100 ft from shore with a bobber with 1 ½ ft. of leader before your worm.
If you’re using PowerBait, use a slip sinker weight above your first swivel, and then tie 1 ½ ft. of leader before a small treble hook covered in PowerBait. If you want to lift the bait higher from the lake bottom, you can use a Y swivel and tie 1 ½ ft. of leader to one tip and end it with a weight, and then 1 ½ ft. of leader to the other side and end it with the PowerBait. Experiment with different leader lengths.
With artificial lures, the general rule of thumb is to use the size and strength of lures appropriate for the fish species you hope to catch. Since Rangeley Lake’s salmon and trout tend to be quite large, we recommend packing strong and reliable lures.
Blue Fox and Mepps spinners are always classic standbys for brown trout. Try silver, silver and blue, brass, and black spotted with yellow patterns. The depth and locations you fish are going to depend on the time of day.
Rapalas and similar products that imitate small fish are also great for catching trout. Since there are big fish in the lake, you can experiment with oversized lures and possibly pull out some lunkers.
Trolling is a fishing method by which one or more baited fishing lines are thrown into the water and dragged along behind your boat, sweeping up and catching fish along the way. You can troll with any of the active lures mentioned above.
In the spring or evening, you can stay nearer the surface, but if it’s the middle of the day in the summer, be ready to use leaded line poles or a downrigger to get down to the cooler water. Trolling can be extremely successful, and you may even have to throw some of your catch back. Not a bad problem to have!
6. Fishing by the Shore
If getting into a boat isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Fortunately for you, in Rangeley Lake, Maine, fishing straight from the shore is a great option. In fact, there are about 30 miles of shoreline for you to use for this very purpose. It can be difficult to get in deep water near the shore, but sinking PowerBait is still a good option. You can also cast and retrieve active lures.
7. Amenities at the Park
Rangeley Lake State Park features bathroom facilities and hot showers for those who plan to spend quite a while on the lakes fishing. Also, the park offers children’s play areas and boat launching ramps for those looking to set their boats afloat on the lake’s placid waters. We recommend taking advantage of these to get the most out of your experience.
Find Camping Near Rangeley Lake
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of what you can expect there and how best to go about fishing, you’re ready to cast a line and start catching salmon, perch and trout while fishing Rangeley Lake in Maine.
To give you extra privacy and peace of mind denied to most ordinary Rangeley State Park visitors, Tentrr can allow you to place your camp on some of the best privately owned land in the area. Set up your Rangeley Lake camping experience with Tentrr today.